What comes to your mind when you think of Dubai? List five things that strike you without any inhibitions when you hear about Dubai? – I bet its shopping deals for a shopaholic, nightlife for party goers, buffet at sea-side restaurants for luxury dwellers, famous tourist attractions for travelers and delicious food for gluttons. All said and done, Dubai is undoubtedly famous for all the above and some good Dubai tour packages on your first trip to the city will make sure you cover most of this list.
Quick pro-tip: Taking a day out to visit Dubai comes as cheap as $62 – as Emirates offers a pre-prepared stopover package to passengers who wish to take a day to see its hub city – includes one night at a hotel, Dubai visa and assistance to and from the airport.
However, every city has some hidden gems which need to be discovered time and again by those who look for something different and unique in every place they visit. Something which others have not yet explored and something which makes them come back or at least forms a part of their memory lane. I also have few such places in mind to share on StreetTrotter. These places might have been explored by others yet are not commercially famous:
Jebel Al Jais
Snake your way towards the highest peak in UAE through some spectacular views of the mountains and the valley. Take lots of food and water if you plan to stay longer as there is nothing available on the way once you drive past Ras-Al-Khaimah. It is a delight for those who love driving but those weak at hearts or scared of heights should not occupy the window seat.
Open Air Theatre
This comes as a cool relief from the scorching heat of summers and one can enjoy good old movies with food and drinks of their choice. These options are available at Wafi Mall and Reform Social and Grill restaurant in Emirates Living. One can look for the schedule of movies every week on their respective websites.
This is a camping site for many expats who want to experience the cold silence of the night along with fresh grilled delicacies in a desert. One can choose any safe spot to camp around the desert but be sure to take some locals along as they are aware of the surroundings and any restricted spots.
This is a popular driving route for those who like to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city every once in a while. I prefer driving to the top and relaxing at the Mercure Hotel pool and then climbing down feeling refreshed.
This is a small town on the way to Fujairah which is one of the seven emirates. The drive to the city is quite relaxing and once you are there, you can unwind near the beach. The weather is cool even in summers as the altitude raises en-route and one can feel the blocking of ears for a while. One you hit the emirates road, you can easily find sign boards which leads to Fujairah and Korfakhan.
This is popularly also known as the Sandy Beach. The island is right in front of a beach hotel called Sandy Beach Resort and as the name suggests the island is in shape of the Snoopy dog resting in his typical position as shown in the cartoons. Start your morning early with some snorkeling at the island and then a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel. Camping on the side shores of the hotel is what is most interesting as you can have a BBQ and bivouac on the white sands.
Drive through the Emirates road 611 and merge on Kalba road and reach the beautiful Hatta Fort after almost one and a half hour of drive. Take a break for snacks at the Hatta Fort hotel and move on towards the border to experience the rustic beauty amidst the Hajjar Mountains. The wadi which is a locale word for valley is sprinkled with springs all around. The best time to visit is during rainy season which is not defined in UAE but to be on safe side, one can go there from October onwards when the weather is pleasant and splashes of cool water rekindles your soul. Trekking is also an option here but make sure you have a 4 wheel drive and enough equipment to do so.
ABOUT MANSI KUMAR : A novice traveler who is all set to explore new dimensions in traveling and is eager to experience diverse cultures across the globe. Academically, an MBA in HR & Process Management from UK and professionally working as HR Specialist in a Real Estate Organization in Dubai. Her areas of interest apart from traveling are writing, reading fictional stories especially those relating to our day to day lives, and history. A single female traveler who is soon to have a traveling companion on permanent basis.